Bharat Biotech says Rs150 per dose of Covaxin is “not sustainable”

The Hyderabad-based company said that it should be allowed to maintain a differential pricing strategy for the government hospitals and the private hospitals.

The vaccine maker on Tuesday said that the supply price of Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin to the central government at Rs 150 per dose is not sustainable in the long run.

The Centre’s supplying price is pushing the pricing structure for the private sector upward.

Bharat Biotech said that the fundamental business reasons ranging from low procurement volumes, high distribution costs and retail margins among the few others that contribute to higher pricing of the Covaxin. Bharat Biotech said so justifying the higher price of the Covaxin when compared to the other COVID-19 vaccines that had been available for the private sector in India.

Bharat Biotech in an statement said that the supply price of Covaxin to the government of India at Rs 150 per dose is a “non-competitive price” and is clearly “not sustainable” in the long run. Hence a higher price in the private markets is required to counterbalance a part of the costs.

The Bharat Biotech has so far invested over Rs 500 crores at the risk from its own resources for product development, clinical trials and setting up of the manufacturing facilities for the Covaxin drug.

The company said, as directed by the Government of India, only less than 10 per cent of the total production of Covaxin till date had been supplied to the private hospitals, while most of the remaining quantity was supplied to state and the central government.

The Hyderabad-based company said that it should be allowed to maintain a differential pricing strategy for the government hospitals and the private hospitals.

Bharat Biotech has clarified that the procurement of the vaccines by private hospitals is optional and not mandatory, although it gives a choice to the people who were willing to pay for a better convenience.

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